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IRVINE, CA-Option One Mortgage signed a seven-year, $32 million lease for 246,000 sf of new office space at Irvine Spectrum, bringing the total space leased by the mortgage company to 426,000 sf at the Irvine Co. development.

Stephen Pisarik of Colliers Seeley International, who represented Option One, says the deal is believed to be the largest office lease signed in Orange County this year, both in terms of square feet and total consideration.

Pisarik tells GlobeSt.com the lease will mean a net increase of more than 180,000 sf in the space occupied by the mortgage company, which is a subsidiary of H&R Block. As part of its expansion into the 246,000 sf of new space, he explains, Option One will vacate a 63,000-sf building in Irvine.

“We’ve seen quite a few expansions by mortgage companies because they’re doing quite well in this low-interest environment,” Pisarik tells GlobeSt.com. The deal provides a shot in the arm for the Orange County office market, which suffered severely with the collapse of technology companies that drove the market in the late 1990s.

Option One is scheduled to make its move in September and will be expanding into four buildings, at 6501, 6531, 6561 and 6591 Irvine Center Drive. The space is in new buildings in Discovery Business Center within Irvine Spectrum, and Option One will be the first tenant to have occupied the buildings.

The company currently is headquartered at Lakeview Business Center within Irvine Spectrum, the Irvine Company¹s 5,000-acre master-planned center for research, technology and business. Along with its expansion into the new space in September, the mortgage company will continue to occupy the four existing buildings at the headquarters location in Lakeview Business Center, Pisarik says.

Option One originates, services, sub-services and acquires home mortgage loans. The company employs more than 3,000 workers nationwide, with more than 1,100 at the corporate headquarters in Irvine.

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